Community Notebook: Palo Alto gets new postmaster

Former physician and longtime post-office veteran takes the helm

Palo Alto will swear in a new postmaster on Friday, Aug. 19, after a 14-month vacancy, the United States Postal Service has announced.

Diana Liang, former postmaster of Millbrae and South San Francisco, will be sworn in at noon at the Palo Alto Main Post Office, 2085 East Bayshore Road. Ravi Bainiwal, manager of post office operations, will administer the official oath of office.

As postmaster, Liang will manage all operations in Palo Alto, which has 103 city routes with 43,833 delivery residential business addresses and 12,870 post office boxes. She will manage 191 employees who process and deliver an average of 120,000 pieces of mail daily, according to the Postal Service.

"In a world of increasing digital communication, it is important that mail keeps pace and remains viable. I will work hard to ensure that we provide excellent service for the residents and businesses in the Palo Alto community," she said in a statement.

Liang's appointment follows a tradition dating to 1892 when John F. Parkinson became the first postmaster of Palo Alto, according to the Postal Service. She started her career with the Postal Service in 1998 as a distribution window clerk in Pacifica. She graduated from the Associate Supervisor Program in 2002 and was assigned to the San Francisco International Service Center as a supervisor of distribution operations.

In 2004, she worked as an operation support specialist. She was promoted as superintendent of accountable paper depository at the San Francisco Processing and Distribution Center in 2008, after which she took on the postmaster roles.

Liang lives in Millbrae with her husband, Gilbert, and their two children, Jessica and Oscar. She graduated from Chong Qing University of Medical Science and was a physician in China for a year before immigrating to the U.S. She volunteers at the Millbrae Elementary School PTA and is a member of North Peninsula Mandarin School. She enjoys skiing and hiking, according to the announcement.

Liang replaces Dean Maeda, who was promoted to postmaster of San Mateo.


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10 people like this
Posted by Passport system is broken
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 17, 2016 at 8:47 am

Any chance this new postmaster will speed up the appointments for passport applications.

Early in summer we were given an appointment one month ahead. This seemed ridiculous. According to one of your bloggers, the system now involves no appointments and instead getting a number at 7.30 am for an allocation of 20 passports each day.

This system is broken. Please can a reporter look into this system.

14 people like this
Posted by Blondie
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 17, 2016 at 1:14 pm

I wish the doors to the Hamilton post office would be locked at 7 PM instead of being open 24/7 like they are now. The doors used to close at 6 PM, which was a problem for folks with day jobs who couldn't make it to the post office to check their PO boxes on weekdays. I do like the convenience of checking my post office box after business hours, but it feels really unsafe walking in there after the postal workers have left - especially after dark. The homeless are frequently hanging out/sleeping there - especially during the winter months, and I once saw a homeless man peeing on the floor. It's a beautiful building and I wish more was being done to protect it . As far as I know it's the only unattended building open to the public 24/7, and it's just not right that it's used as a shelter/urinal. Who knows what goes on there in the middle of the night. Please start locking the doors again, but not till after 7 PM so that folks have time to check their PO boxes after work.

2 people like this
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 17, 2016 at 3:01 pm

SEA_SEELAM REDDY is a registered user.

Congratulations Ms. Liang.

I welcome you to the leadership role/assignment.

Please fix one thing: Post offices should be open till 6:30pm. Take the last mail out at 6:30. In the bay area we wake up late and work late. Last minute rush after work is needed to mail things.

Its common sense. In the name of optimization, customer service element has been ignored.

Please fix it. Follow the Wells Fargo model. Keep service until 6:00pm on Saturdays.

You may figure it out; you could open late like 10:00am on certain days.

Hope you can implement this and am expecting you would do that.


3 people like this
Posted by pearl
a resident of another community
on Aug 17, 2016 at 3:07 pm

pearl is a registered user.

Neighborhood UPS postal stores give their post office box patrons a key to the door so people can come in and get the mail in their post office box around the clock. Maybe suggest that to the PA postmaster.

8 people like this
Posted by EPAMom
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Aug 17, 2016 at 4:21 pm

Just the basic customer service is so bad at the main post office. Often 10 people in line, 1 clerk. It's dingy, dirty and disorganized. Computers are often down. It takes ages for a clerk to go in the back to find a package if you're unfortunate enough to be there with an orange slip. And the passport line is always chaos. Somebody really needs to bring this organization's customer service up - and probably morale, too.

Like this comment
Posted by Ingrid
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 17, 2016 at 7:46 pm

Today is 8/17/2016.
This is the second time this happened to me this summer.
Last time cash was stolen from a birthday card sent to my home address.
I reported to the police and the USPS.
I also posted on NextDoor.
Just now I received a card with yellow colored envelope for my son's birthday. Again cash was stolen !!!
Dear Postmaster, please look into this matter, as this happened not only to me but other neighbors.
I believe you have the ability to restore our faith in Palo Alto postal service.

3 people like this
Posted by Passports
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 17, 2016 at 9:52 pm

To those needing an appointment for a passport, try the Milpitas City Hall. The building is clean, modern, and the employees are nice and competent: Web Link

1 person likes this
Posted by Concern Neighbor
a resident of Southgate
on Aug 18, 2016 at 6:54 am

Since we have moved here, our mail has been unreliable.
Normal junk mail and corporate looking mails are okay but personal mails (birthday cards or any handwritten envelopes) seems to not make their way to our address or very delayed.
I saw posts on NextDoor about thefts in the mail.
Newly appointed Postmaster Liang, please address this issue.
If needed, our door cameras can tell you who our post persons are. However, this systemic issue might be from someone working inside the post office.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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